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Reviews of 'Arms and Equipment Guide'

Arms and Equipment Guide

by James Wyatt, Jeff Quick, Jesse Decker, Eric Cagle
D&D Supplements, Volume 1

Reviews of 'Arms and Equipment Guide'

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Reviewer: Matt

Rating: Stars

In a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, perhaps the most appropriate expression is one that is borrowed from the Boy Scouts: "be prepared". Adventurers with the Arms and Equipment Guide, can accomplish that feat easily. The Arms and Equipment Guide contains an immense collection of magical and non—magical items and equipment, as well as optional rules for a wide variety of rare and exotic items. This is definitely a piece of equipment no good player should leave home without!

The Arms and Equipment Guide opens with a chapter on weapons and armor, and adds rules for creating the tools of the adventurer's trade with unusual materials. In addition to new material components, the Arms and Equipment Guide also introduces a number of new weapons into the game. Most of these are exotic weapons from a campaign set in the Far East or at the height of the Arabian empires, but they provide additional options for player weapons. In addition, the chapter also includes a discussion on the different time periods and weapons that would or would not be available in such a campaign.

Chapter two greatly expands the lists of adventuring gear found in the Player's Handbook. In addition to new types of gear, it also includes edible items—such as various types of alcohol and some brief rules for incorporating its effects into your campaign. Perhaps more importantly, however, are the numerous new types of poison that are described in detail in the chapter.

The Arms and Equipment Guide also introduces rules for new vehicles, and a number of new vehicle types, from zeppelins to siege towers. It also provides rules for constructing your own vehicles—from determining maneuverability and propulsion to "augmentations" such as canon—and rules for both combat and dealing with the collisions that will inevitably occur from time to time.

Since hirelings and mercenaries are a part of a campaign as well, the Arms and Equipment Guide also includes a long list of professions and the costs associated with hiring laborers to perform the work. In addition, it provides costs for hiring mercenaries. The well—written rules detail the difference in price for hiring mercenaries that supply their own equipment versus those whose equipment is provided by the PCs, and the mercenary's expectations for the quality of equipment to be provided. In addition to the standard mercenary soldiers, the Arms and Equipment Guide provides rules for exotic mercenaries—such as orcs, goblins, and the like—as well as many exotic types of guard creatures and mounts.

No D&D sourcebook would be complete without new magic weapons and armor, and the Arms and Equipment Guide does not disappoint. In addition to new martial equipment, it also details rules for new special abilities that magic items may possess, from arrow catching armor to merciful weapons. The Arms and Equipment Guide also includes several new rings and rods, and a wide variety of wondrous items to add to any campaign.

The book's final chapter provides rules for creating intelligent magical items, and introduces new intelligent items, cursed items, and detailed descriptions of several artifacts, such as the infamous Rod of Seven Parts. An appendix to the book contains treasure tables and other miscellaneous information.

There are only two things that sould prevent any player or DM from snapping the Arms and Equipment Guide up. The first is that unlike the vast majority of 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons products, it is printed in black and white. This isn't a problem unless you figure in the suggested retail price of $26.99, where for $3 more you get the full four-color splendor of Wizards' other books. The second is that much of the material in the guide is reprinted from other 3rd edition sourcebooks, so a lot of the information presented may already be in your library—you'll just have to look a bit harder for it. Still, the Arms and Equipment Guide is a fantastic resource for both players and Dungeon Masters alike, and should be part of any prepared adventurer's library when they step out onto the trail.

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